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Using the Force

The force is all around us. No, not the unseen awesome ability to harness energy and turn it into physical […]

The force is all around us. No, not the unseen awesome ability to harness energy and turn it into physical actions of greatness as showcased in ‘Star Wars’ at the hand of a Jedi, but rather through a load cell transducer that converts a mechanical force into an electrical output signal. The THA series Load Cell is of the highest integrity that, through bonded foil strain gauges, deforms when weight is applied, and are calibrated to adjust to correct any temperature errors. The following article will explore this tiny device that delivers on real power, and will examine certain product considerations.


If the device is going to be used in an area that is prone to water vapor and corrosive gases, then a corrosion-resistant load cell must be used. Traditionally, hermetically sealed load cells suffer from high corrosion and environmental resistance. If the load cells are made of stainless steel, the chances of corrosion are even greater. As safety is of the upmost importance, it s highly advisable that if your place of operation is in a potentially explosive atmosphere, then you will want a load cell certified as one that is intrinsically safe or even flameproof.

Some precautions and considerations

Make sure the intended cables to transmit electrical current have a degree of conductor resistance. As the temperature varies, so too will the current magnitude that is shuttled through the cable. Also, the load cell cable’s conductor resistance varies with the temperature. The effect is not negligible when the cable in question is long. In this case, it is corrected by using the indicator’s sensing circuit.

When load cells and their cables are in close proximity to a high-voltage power supply, keep a distance of 300mm or more. Protect the load cell from inductive interference and arrange other piping. Also, be sure to use shielded cables with the load cells to avoid any problems.

Be sure not to skimp on maintenance. By utilizing junction boxes between the load cells and indicators, you will be better-equipped producing stellar results from checkups and replacement tasks. Since the shield of the load cable is suspended on the load cell side, be sure to have a single-point ground on its indicator side. Make sure that the cable shielding continues within the box if in fact the junction box separates the indicator and load cell. An electrical potential difference occurs between the grounds, if the grounding is multiple-point.

A temperature change between the inside and outside of the load cell could change the load cell’s characteristics, temporarily. Rapid outside temperature changes can cause this, so be sure to maintain a stable temperature at all times. Investing in a good quality thermostat to maintain constant room temperature would be a smart move. You can turn to Consumer Reports to find one ideal to your needs.

Use the Force

Take these points of precautions and considerations on board, and go forth is using the force that swells strong in these tiny little gadgets. Here’s to your productivity!
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